US,UK,France may be complicit in Saudi war crims in Yemen: UN
The United Nations said on Tuesday the US, Britain, and France may be complicit in war crimes committed by a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
UN investigators compiled a secret list of possible international war crimes suspects, drawn from their latest report into violations during Saudi-led coalition’s brutal war on Yemen.
The report blamed the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for killing Yemeni civilians in air strikes and deliberately denying them food in a country facing famine.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a deadly war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall a former regime and eliminate the Ansarullah, who have been defending the country along with armed forces. The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 over the past four and a half years.
The Western-backed military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has destroyed the country’s infrastructure, and led to a massive humanitarian crisis.
The U.N. report said its independent panel had sent a secret list to UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, identifying “individuals who may be responsible for international crimes”.
Its appendix lists the names of more than 160 “main actors” among Saudi, Emirati and Yemeni top brass, although it did not specify whether any of these names also figured in its list of potential suspects.
“Individuals in the Government of Yemen and the coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, may have conducted airstrikes in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, and may have used starvation as a method of warfare, acts that may amount to war crimes,” it said.
“The legality of arms transfers by France, the United Kingdom, the United States and other States remains questionable, and is the subject of various domestic court proceedings.”
It found that a Joint Incidents Assessment Team set up by Saudi Arabia to review coalition’s violations had failed to hold anyone accountable for any strike killing civilians, raising “concerns as to the impartiality of its investigations”.
The UN panel said it had received reports that Emirati and affiliated forces have tortured, raped and killed political opponents detained in secret facilities.
Air strikes by the Saudi-led military coalition in southwest Yemen hit a prison complex, killing scores of people, a Red Cross official said on Sunday.